First Line Fridays #14 – Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo


“The boy and the girl had once dreamed of ships, long ago, before they’d ever seen the True Sea. They were the vessels of stories, magic ships with masts hewn from sweet cedar and sails spun by maidens from thread of pure gold. Their crews were white mice who sang songs and scrubbed the decks with their pink tails.”

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Princess in Waiting (The Princess Diaries #4) by Meg Cabot

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on Princess in Waiting by Meg Cabot.



Princess in Waiting follows te events of Princess in Love. Mia is in love with Michael and he loves her too, she thinks. However, she is forced to spend her month-long Christmas break in Genovia, where she will make her first televised speech to the Genovian people since discovering that she is a princess. While in Genovia she pines away fr Michael, much to Grandmere’s aggravation, who tells her that she needs to play games with Michael in order to keep him interested. She also gives Mia a copy of Jane Eyre to read and learn from the Jane’s example.

Along with her friend Tina, Mia vows to not chase after Michael and make him do the work in showing his love. However the two friends’ plan backfires when Tina’s boyfriend breaks up with her after not hearing back from her. Michael also asks Mia out on a first date, however Grandmere ruins Mia’s excitement by informing her of a bal that hse is to attend on the same day as her first date! Mia then strts to wonder whetther her relationship is doomed, and that once she breaks the news to Michael that he will break up with her…what’s a princess to do? Also Lilly is upset because a movie of Mia’s life was released and she feels she was portrayed unfairly and sets up a meeting with the studio executives in order to get them to make a pubic apology of their wrongful portrayal of her.

Overall, I liked Princess in Waiting, although I felt like Mia was a lot more melodramatic, but then again I remembers being similar at that age. However, i feel like she doesn’t give Michael the benefit of the doubt and expects him to break up with her over something so trivial – even though he knows full well that she is a princess and has royal duties.

But I do think that this served as a great contrast of just what a great guy Michael is becaise he reacts and acts the exact opposite of what Mia expects. In fact, he does everything he can to plan a great first date when the original plan has to change.

Also, Grandmere is conniving and scheming as usual when she decides to present Mia’s distant cousin, Jean-Pierre as her beau at the ball that she is forced to attend.

Overall, this was another fun read in the series and I immediately jumped into the next book. 3/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Mini-Reviews #5

Hello everyone,

Today is the next installment in my series of mini-reviews. Here are my quick thoughts on five books that I have read recently.

A Town Called Ruby Prairie by Anette Smith 


A Town Called Ruby Prarie was an okay read. The plot was good, but the writing style was choppy and jumped from character to character quite abruptly. I did enjoyed getting to know everyone, however I don’t know if it is enough for me to keep reading the rest of the series. While it does a good job covering topics such as prejudice and belonging, there were also certain moment that seemed to be a little bit too melodramatic. 3/5 Stars.

Legacy Lane (Hart’s Crossing #1) by Robin Lee Hatcher


I really enjoyed this short and sweet offering from Robin Lee Hatcher, she does a good job of introducing readers to the town of Hart’s Crossing without being overly descriptive, and still having a story line to follow. Angie was an interesting character follow, especially with seeing the strain between her and her mother because of her mother’s faith, however, her mother is both loving and persistent when it comes to the Gospel. This is mainly a story of reconciliation and sometimes what it takes to reach that point, but it is also about community and faith. I am looking forward to my next trip to Hart’s Crossing, Idaho in the upcoming months! 4/5 Stars.

Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock 


I’ve had this book on my Kindle for a while, but I forgot I had it until it came up as a read-a-like on Novelist for Legacy Lane (click here to read about Reading Experiment #4). All I can say is that I am surprised I did not read it sooner. I loved the cast of characters, especially Tillie Monroe and Roz as they live life in Mills River, Illinois during the Vietnam War, as well as hiding from an abusive father. My only complaint is that we are not outright told which year this book is set in and readers have to guess based on contextual clues. 4/5 Stars.

The Shop on Blossom Street (Blossom Street #1)  by Debbie Macomber


I have been a fan of Debbie Macombers books ever since a friend lent me The Shop on Blossom Street when I was a sophomore in college. I also have been in the mood to reread it for a while. It was an enjoyable and cozy read while aso covering some hard topics. I loved watching the characters’ develop friendships with each other and even watching how they each grow throughout the novel. However, there was one thing I did not like was that there was some fat-shaming of one of the side characters, and while that character was awful, her body was made to be the most disgusting thing about her when there are other aspects of her character that could have been the main focus as to why this character was awful. 3/5 Stars.

Veterans Way (Hart’s Crossing #2) by Robin Lee Hatcher 


This was a cute companion novella to Legacy Lane, I loved returning to Hart’s Crossing and meeting a few more of the residents. I enjoyed the second chance at love story and how it explored some of the issues that an arise when two widowed people decide to get married. However, those issues are soon resolved. I’m really looking forward to my next journey to Hart’s Crossing. Also, I want to give a shout out to my husband for getting the first three books in this series for me! 4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

First Line Friday #13 – The Space Between Lost and Found by Sandy Stark-McGinnis

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books.

The Space Between Lost and Found by Sandy Stark-McGinnis


“This morning I make Mom breakfast, shaping Ritz crackers as close to dolphins as I can. The fins – dorsal and pectoral – and the fluke are hard.” 

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Princess in Love (The Princess Diares #3) by Meg Cabot

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on Princess in Love by Meg Cabot.




Princess in Love picks up a month after the events of the last book which ended with Mia’s mom and Mr. G. skipping the elaborate wedding Grandmere had planned for them – and eloepd. And Mia discovered who her secret admirer was – her lab partner, Kenny. Even though she is not in love with Kenny – she is still pining away for Michael – she has agreed to be his girlfriend. On top of that, she has finas to worry about and her first trip to Genovia as the royal princess. And the Winter Non-denominational Dance is around the corner and her boyfriend still hasn’t asked her to go!

She wants to break up with Kenny, but she has to wait unti her Biology final is over. With encouragement from her friend, Tina Hakim-Baba, she starts sending anonymous notes to Michael in the hopes that he might see her as more than his sister’s best friend. And of course there’s Lilly, who wants to stage a walkout due t feeling like she is being unjustly treated by the teachers and administrators at Albert Einstein High School, and Mia has to decide whether to join her or not.

Once again, I really liked this third installment in the Princess Diaries series and the ending was great! Also I love how we see Mia really come into her own as a princess – or at least starts to. I am looking forward to seeing some more of Mia’s shenanigans in Genovia! 3/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Princess in the Spotlight (The Princess Diaries #2) by Meg Cabot

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on Princess in the Spotlight by Meg Cabot.




Princess in the Spotlight picks up shortly after the events of the first book, Mia is so over Josh Richter, but she’s also realized that she is in love with Michael Moscovitz, her best friend’s brother. Lilly has found another injustice to protest. Grandmere has arranged for Mia to have her first TV interview, which she wants to try and get out of. Not to mention that on top of all of this her mom is pregnant (!) with her algebra teacher’s baby (!!).

However, the one silver lining is that Mia has a secret admirer wwh refuses to reveal himself and Mia is left guessing – although she does hope that Michael is her secret admirer. But then Mia lets slip the secret that her mom is pregnant on national TV and Grandmere is now planning the wedding of the century, even though her mom is against the idea of a big do for her wedding…oh, and her grandparents from Indiana have ome to town along with her cousin Hank, who seems to have captured Lilly’s attention, as well as the attention of most of the girls at Albert Einstein High School.

Again, I really had a fun time reading this second installment in The Princess Diaries series. While they might not be the most well-written books, they are still enjoyable and fun to read and something light t read in the midst of everything that has gone on so far this year. I am so glad that I decided to re-read this series. 3/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries #1) by Meg Cabot

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.


The Princess Diaries movies were a favorite of mine as a kid, and I remember when started reading the book in about 5th grade and being excited to finally read it… and if I remember correctly, there were several of us in the class who were reading it at the same time.

Before Is tart this review, I think it is important to note that there are some huge differences between the book and the movie, but both are good in their own way.

The Princess Diaries follows high school freshman, Mia Thermopolis, who feels like a freak and is failing Algebra. Then her father, who is a diplomat in the small (fictional) country of Genovia, drops a bombshell, not only is he a prince, but Mia is a princess! Her life just got turned upside down. She now has to take princess lessons with her Grandmere (who is not as sweet and kind as in the movie!) and hopefully keep a low-profile about the whole princess thing. But then the story is leaked to the press and now everyone knows about her royalty status, but on the plus side her crush, Josh Richter, is paying her some attention.

I did like this book, it was a fun read, however it is very different from the movie. I feel like Mia is more overdramatic, but again we are actually reading her diary! I do not have much say except that it was a fun read. However, I do want to note several differences between the book and the movie:

  1. In the book Mia lives in New York, whereas in the movie she lives in San Francisco.
  2. Her dad is still alive in the books.
  3. Her mother dates her Algebra teacher, whereas in the movie it is her Debate teacher.
  4. Grandmere is awful in the books, however she is very endearing in the movie (especially since she is played by the amazing Julie Andrews!).

There are probably other major differences that I have mised, but these seem to be the main ones. I’m looking forward to continuing my reread of The Princess Diaries series in the days to come. 3/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster.


This was an interesting book and it was very different from what I priginally thought it was going to be. The best way to describe The Phantom Tollbooth is if Alice in Wonderland  and the Chronicles of Narnia had a baby, this would be it!

The novel follows a young boy by the name of Milo, who is bored one day when a mysterious tollbooth appears. He decides to get in the car, pay the toll and dollow it where it goes. He is swept away on a journey through the Lands Beyond which includes the Kingdom of Knowledge. He visits several towns/territories within this land and discovers that there are two warring kings – the king of Dictionopolis and the king of Digitopolis. Their kingdoms are in chaos becayse the princesses, Rhyme and Reason, have been banished. It is up to Milo and Tock the watchdog to rescue the princesses and bring back Rhyme and Reason to the land of Knowledge.

I enjoyed this novel, I cn see why it is considered a children’s classic. I liked that the overall message is that all forms of knowledge are important, both words and numbers, and how reason is also important too. I loved following Milo on his adventures through this strange world. I also enjoyed getting to know Tock and Humbug, I felt like they were good supporting characters.

One of my favorite scenes in the novel is when Milo comes across the symphony that’s music gives color to the land and when he tries his hand at conducting, there are some not so great results.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Phantom Tollbooth. Shout out to my husband for recommending it to me, and we definitely need to read this to our kids. 4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.